/

Tokyo prosecutors seek fine in trial against ‘vagina artist’ Megumi Igarashi

Kyodo

Prosecutors asked the Tokyo District Court on Monday to levy a fine of ¥800,000 against an artist charged with obscenity for distributing 3-D scans of her own genitals.

Megumi Igarashi, 43, who works under the pseudonym Rokudenashi-ko (Good-for-nothing Girl), maintained her innocence on the charges of distributing obscene objects through the Internet in return for money, arguing that her artwork uses female genitalia as its subject but is not of a salacious nature.

In her final statement, Igarashi called for an impartial judgment by the court.

“Having created works that defy the (existing) image associated with genitalia, I cannot agree with my arrest,” she said.

The court is expected to hand down its decision May 9.

Her lawyer said during the closing arguments that Igarashi distributed the data to make 3-D versions of her vagina “as part of her creative activities, with the aim that her supporters would use it to create new works.”

A prosecutor countered that Igarashi “carries great criminal responsibility” because she sent out the data regardless of the possibility that recipients might create obscene objects.

In a previous hearing, a university professor specializing in art history testified in Igarashi’s defense that the works “do not appear to be obscene (materials) that cause sexual arousal.”

Igarashi told a news conference after her initial arrest in July 2014 that she sent the data to those who donated more than ¥3,000 to a campaign to fund her creation of a kayak also modeled on the 3-D scans.

According to the indictment, Igarashi distributed data over the Internet that could be used to make 3-D reproductions of her genitals in October 2013 and March 2014, and in July 2014 exhibited vagina-shaped plaster artwork at an adult shop in Tokyo.

The Penal Code prescribes a maximum sentence of two years in prison or a fine of up to ¥2.5 million for distributing obscene objects.